About the Bloggers

Here’s the real scoop on our bloggers. If you want their stuffy bios, please visit our website. What you really need to know about us is that we all care so deeply about helping uninsured children and families, that we have dedicated our professional lives to fixing the health care system.

Joan Alker is co-director of CCF and is known for her unwavering commitment
to a strong Medicaid program.  She has an uncanny ability to cut to the
heart of an issue and tell it like it is. Joan was inspired to start
blogging when her daughter became the editor of her 5th grade
class blog.  Her eight- and ten-year-old daughters now collaborate on
the “Sister’s Blog” and Joan is hoping they’ll share some of their
blogging tips.

Tricia Brooks is kind of like a wonk except she has actually run something. Tricia drank the Kool-Aid for kids coverage when as a mom of two little ones (now in college) she couldn’t imagine raising children without health insurance. She founded a successful nonprofit organization that began covering kids in 1995 and administered New Hampshire’s Children’s Health Insurance Program. She’s our go-to-gal when we have questions about how things work out where the rubber meets the road. Tricia’s an MBA with a big heart. 

Jocelyn Guyer is co-director of CCF and has a real knack for boiling down complex policies into digestible chunks. Jocelyn’s calm, patient demeanor belies the tough-minded policy wonk that lurks beneath the surface. We often wonder how she does it all while keeping up with the care and feeding of three young lads on the home front. 

If it is true that the difference between something good and something great is attention to detail, then you better have Martha Heberlein on your team if you want to produce something great. She is the master of data at CCF. Martha didn’t join the field of children’s health policy because she likes data; she dislikes the current health care system and finds accurate data a powerful advocacy tool. Her interest in health policy stems from her experience running a residential program for women with mental illness and developmental disabilities where she spent much of her time confronting the flaws in the system while advocating for the best care for her clients. She decided to take on those flaws directly and went off to graduate school where she focused on health policy and its ethical imperative.

Cathy Hope is the mastermind behind the Say Ahhh! blog.  We think she may have devised it as a scheme to avoid reading our research papers.  She’s worked in policy and public affairs everywhere from Capitol Hill to a Fortune 50 company and is really enjoying working in the non-profit world on behalf of children and families.  When she’s not blogging, you’ll find her on a soccer field sideline cheering on one of her three boys. 

Wesley S. Prater is a laid-back Southern gentleman by way
of Mississippi, who is known to be a great listener and open-minded enough to
realize that there are usually at least three sides to every story. Wesley has
two strong beliefs that he holds sacrosanct:  the Super Bowl should be a national holiday and health care
coverage should be a right, not a privilege.   He spends much more time working on the latter.  Wesley enjoys working on issues related
to Medicaid, CHIP, and health reform. He has a passion for helping children and
families and knows that this passion is in his DNA, as he grew up watching his
parents working towards the same beliefs.

Joe Touschner is a really smart guy who cares a lot about kids. Joe became interested in working on children’s health coverage issues as he felt like the country was failing uninsured children and wanted to make an impact on health policy.  He works closely with state groups to improve health care coverage for children and families. He keeps himself mentally challenged by conducting research on Medicaid, CHIP, and other complex topics.  Luckily Joe has good health insurance because, outside of the office, he keeps himself physically challenged by skiing and biking. 

Cindy Mann has moved on to serve as the Director of Medicaid and State Operations at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  

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